Baristas: Why You Should Use a Digital Scale to Weigh Coffee
Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and placed your order, and then been surprised to find your coffee doesn’t taste the way it tasted the last time? The blend is slightly different, the flavour is too strong or too weak, or maybe your cappuccino contains more milk than it did yesterday.
Customers want consistency in their products. That’s why it’s important for coffee shops to use accurate bench weighing scales. How do you find the best coffee scale for your needs?
What is a coffee scale?
A coffee scale is a specialist digital scale used by baristas, brewers and coffee shops to weigh ground coffee, coffee beans and finished products. Coffee scales also can be used to measure related products, such as tea leaves, refined sugar and other beverages.
Why use coffee scales?
Coffee scales accurately weigh products to ensure consistency and cost. Commercial coffee businesses are required by law to use approved scales when selling a product by weight. Most coffee shops rely on specific methods to craft the ideal brew every time, providing the product consistency that brings customers back again.
Coffee shops may offer a variety of loose coffee beans that can be scooped and bagged to take home. These coffee beans will need to be weighed in order to determine price. Accurate coffee bean scales ensure that customers are not overcharged for the weight of their purchase, whilst a barista can ensure that profit is not lost through the weighing process.
Additionally, artisan coffee shops are likely to create a fine balance of products to make their signature coffee, espresso or latte. In order to achieve product consistency, coffee scales can weigh ingredients such as coffee beans, powders, sugar and milk precisely in order to create the perfect coffee every time.
During product packing, coffee beans are weighed to meet a specific portion size. Commercial breweries require each branded bag of coffee sold to be identical in size, but also to weigh the amount listed on the packaging. Industrial coffee scales can be used to check the weight of coffee beans, tea leaves and products to ensure overall product standardisation before they are dispatched to supermarkets and coffee shop chains.
Types of coffee scale
There are several types of coffee scales on the market today, ranging from small, digital coffee scales for use in kitchens and restaurants to large industrial scales for weighing large sacks of coffee beans and tea. Most varieties of digital weighing devices can be used to weigh coffee; however, some may offer larger weight capacities, greater portability, approvals or higher precision.
Top-pan balances feature a pan on top of the device and no draft shield. Varying in readability, capacity and price, top-pan balances can meet most coffee weighing needs. These scales are particularly suitable for standardising ingredients that go into coffee; baristas can place the coffee cup onto the scale weighing pan, tare the scale to reset the weight value on the display to zero, and then add each shot of coffee or liqueur into the cup as part of a ratio.
Price computing scales are specially designed weighing scales that are used to calculate the price of products based on weight. These scales are fully trade approved and can fit on kitchen worktops or coffee shop counters. If you sell loose coffee or tea in your shop, you will need to ensure that you are using a trade approved scale with pricing functionality to sell your product by weight.
A bench scale is a larger type of scale that can be placed on a workbench or counter. They often feature large weighing pans and greater capacities and offer a variety of applications, including parts counting and checkweighing. Bench scales are ideal for weighing large batches of coffee beans.
Platform scales are robust and durable, and can weigh large or heavy objects. They offer higher capacities, and some models feature stainless steel construction for easy cleaning. Platform scales are ideal for weighing large sacks of coffee, tea and sugar in warehouses and packing facilities.
Can I use any scale to weigh coffee beans?
Whilst any weighing instrument can be used to weigh coffee beans, certain types of scales provide better results. Think about the level of precision you need the scale to be before purchase. Top-pan balances featuring external weighing pans and are generally easy to use:
- Place a bag or container onto the weighing pan.
- Zero or tare the scale.
- Scoop the coffee beans into the container.
- Check the weight to ensure the amount is correct.
Choosing the best coffee scale for your needs
When buying a coffee scale, consider the size or amount of product you will need to weigh at any one time, the overall weight of the product, the applications you need and where you intend to use the scale.
If you need to weigh large sacks of coffee beans, your scale must be able to accommodate the capacity to manage this. If you plan to weigh multiple sacks of coffee, you might need to consider a large scale with parts counting or checkweighing features.
If you sell products by weight, you must use approved weighing equipment. Inscale offers a variety of scales and balances that are suitable for trade use, including:
SK-WP stainless steel waterproof scales - A&D
(Not available as of 2023)
A&D's SK range of waterproof scales feature durable stainless steel construction allowing for easy cleaning after use. With capacities up to 30kg and trade approvals, this product is perfect product for weighing tea, coffee bags and scoops of coffee beans.
SJ-EC trade approved compact scales - A&D
(Not available as of 2023)
A&D's SJ range of compact scales and balances are perfect for any coffee shop or barista, featuring a stainless steel weighing pan for easy cleaning and a space conscious design for easily moving around and fitting on busy worktop surfaces. The SJ-EC range are fully trade certified for weighing scoops of coffee beans, tea and flavourings that can then be sold by weight.
FOB stainless steel balance - Kern
Kern's FOB is a simple to use, stainless steel balance ideal for food preparation tasks. The Stainless steel weighing pan is easy to clean and compact in size, allowing it to be used on worktops and benches with limited space. Ideal for commercial coffee shops and cafes.
CPWplus Weighing scales - Adam Equipment
Adam Equipment's CPWplus weighing scale range offers a wide range of platform sizes and stainless steel weighing pan for easy cleaning after use. Perfect for use in commercial breweries for weighing large sacks of coffee, sugar and tea before distribution.
AZextra Price-Computing Retail Scales - Adam Equipment
(Not available as of 2023)
The AZextra is a stylish, trade approved scale that is fully equipped for shop or retail environments. AZextra scales come with back-lit LCDs on the front and rear of the scale show weight, unit price and total price, so they are visible by both operator and customer. This scale is perfect for coffee shops and baristas that sell loose tea, spices or coffee beans by weight.
For more information on which barista scale is right for you, please contact us. Our Phone lines are 01908972660 or Get In Touch.